Safe4Athletes

Site name

Guidelines: Fact Finder

SAFE4ATHLETES

Guidelines for a Fair Fact Finding:  Youth Sport Program Misconduct Complaint

These guidelines are based on principles of good investigation process as advanced in Webb, S.L. (1996) Sexual Harassment: Investigators Manual, Premiere Publishing, Ltd.

 Download Fact Finder Guidelines

Volunteering to be Fact Finder when asked by the Club President is an important responsibility.  Situations that may endanger the safety and well being of our children do arise, albeit infrequently.  When they do, they must be dealt with promptly and fairly.  Both the complaining party and the alleged offender need to be treated fairly.  At the heart of fair treatment is an unbiased determination of the facts by an appointed Fact Finder.   The following guidelines should be followed during the investigation process.  First read the following club documents:

Note:  If criminal conduct has potentially occurred and the situation has been reported to the police, fact-finding and an Ethics Panel hearing should move forward simultaneously and promptly.  The Club should honor any police request to momentarily delay fact finding until their evidence gathering process is completed.   It is assumed in such situations that the person accused of such severe misconduct was immediately suspended from employment or affiliation with the Club by the Club President in order to restore a safe environment.

The Fact Finder in consultation with the Club President should also determine whether the Club has an obligation under state law to report certain situations involving minors.  This information is available online at:

http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/manda.cfm

STEP ONE:  The “Factual Scribe” Mindset

STEP TWO:  BEFORE BEGINNING INTERVIEWS

The complaint form may indicate other questions that should be asked.  The Fact Finder should never be hesitant to ask for clarity, by saying something like, “I don’t understand.  Can you help me by explaining that again.”      

STEP THREE:  CONDUCTING THE INDIVIDUAL INTERVIEWS

STEP FOUR:  SUBMITTING YOUR FACT FINDING REPORT TO THE ETHICS PANEL

  1. Who is the complainant – name and position
  2. Who is the alleged abuser – name and position
  3. Short summary of the complaint – and refer to Appendix A which should be a copy of the formal complaint
  4. Date you were assigned to be the Fact Finder
  5. For each interview, give date and who was interviewed and a short summary of what facts you discovered – attach your actual notes from each interview as Appendices  
  6. If the alleged abuser submitted a separate written statement, attach the statement as an appendi